Just like many of you, I have been scrambling over the last weeks and trying to come up with meaningful at-home learning experiences for students. I’ve spent my days gathering resources and trying to blend all of my beliefs with digital practices. This work feels (and is) important. But when I got an email from a wonderful principal who was looking for some lighthearted picture books to read aloud to her students, I realized that maybe right now my focus doesn’t need to be solely on instruction. My focus also needs to be on how I can use the power of story to bring joy, light, and hope to students who may be struggling.
This new reality is scary for our children too. Like us, they have had their whole lives uprooted, are isolated from their friends, and they are probably keenly aware of what the news in the background is saying. Negativity and fear are contagious, and they’re everywhere right now, but joy and hope are contagious too. So, in the spirit of spreading some joy, we’ve created a list of our favorite hopeful and happy picture books. Video record yourself reading them aloud. Send them with a message of light and hope. Make the video personal by introducing your class to your pets or reading from your favorite spots in your home or yard. Tell students you miss them and can’t wait to see them soon.
Here are some of our favorites:
Happy Dreamer by Peter Reynolds
Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems
Come With Me by Holly McGhee
Because by Mo Willems
I Will Be Fierce by Bea Birdsay
Joy by Corrinne Averiss
Now by Antoinette Portis
I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
If you have some stories that you’d like to contribute, please tag us on twitter @drgravitygLLC
Wishing you all happy read alouds, and thank you, Margy.